Sajid Javid vows 'muscular' action on land-banking developers in drive for new homes

Posted On: 
31st January 2018

Housing developers could be stripped of their rights to build on unused land if they miss construction targets.

Sajid Javid said: “If you are nimby, the government is not going to be your friend."
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Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said property firms would face a more “muscular” approach from government to kickstart building.

A land-banking review is expected to recommend “use it or lose it” planning permissions and pave the way for charges on land that goes up in value after being approved for development, according to the Times.

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Mr Javid told the paper: “We’ve got a housing crisis. We’ve got no time for anyone who is just anti-development for the sake of it...

“If you are nimby, the government is not going to be your friend. We are on the side of people who want more homes.”

He added: “There is definitely some hoarding of land by developers... The Government needs to play a more active, more muscular role.”

New analysis by charity Shelter says developers are sitting on almost a million housing plots.

Philip Hammond is also said to be supportive of a more hardline approach to land banking.

“Use it or lose it is a good way to characterise Hammond’s thinking,” a Treasury source told the paper.

But a former Downing Street aide described Theresa May as a “nimby” who “doesn’t understand the scale of the crisis”, the paper said.

Property developers deny hoarding land and argue it makes more sense to build in good time to make a profit on investments.

The House Builders Association have responded to Mr Javid's comments, saying: "With the vast majority of developers not land-banking, we are delighted to see the minister use the words ‘some’ and ‘NIMBY’ when referring to land-banking and opposition to development." Read their full response here.